UglyDolls – Blu-ray Review

UglyDolls is a 2019 American computer-animated musical adventure comedy film that was directed by Kelly Asbury and written by Alison Peck, from a story by Robert Rodriguez, who also produced the film. It is based on the plush toys of the same name, and follows a group of them as they try to find embracement from the real world despite their flaws. The film stars the voices of Kelly Clarkson, Janelle Monae, Nick Jonas, Pitbull, Blake Shelton, Wanda Sykes, Gabriel Iglesias, Wang Leehom, Emma Roberts, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, and Lizzo.

Taking a similar concept from the Toy Story films, the dolls are anthropomorphized as they are chosen for a child, while the deformed dolls are dropped into the remove town of Uglyville. Among these dolls is the idealistic Moxy, who has dreams of making it into the ‘Big World’ and being chosen for a child, despite Uglyville’s Mayor Ox assuring her that it’s just a myth. On the advice from the village ‘wise man’ Lucky Bat, Moxy adventures into the hole in which the Ugly Dolls arrive, hoping to make her way into the Big World with the help of her friends, and her dog.

UglyDolls was theatrically released in the United States on May 3, 2019 by STX Entertainment, the first animated film, to be produced by the company. It has grossed just $27 million worldwide against a budget of $45 million and received generally unfavorable reviews with critics calling it “well-meaning but derivative.”

The Film Itself (3.5/5):

UglyDolls is a movie that’s obviously geared more toward its younger audiences.  Trying to teach children that just because somebody is different, doesn’t make them any less than someone else.  A message that, while it continues to be relevant today, that I personally feel was unnecessary in home entertainment.  Maybe I’m wrong with that train of thought, because there are a lot of parents out there that would rather sit their children in front of a TV for hours on end, so the folks that made this movie used the opportunity to do a part of the parenting for them?  Regardless, the movie as a whole is pretty fun, innocent, and overall a pretty good kids movie.  My son and I watched the Singalong edition together since he has a huge thing for musical pieces and he seemed to really enjoy it.

Picture Quality (5/5):

Being a fully animated feature, the Blu-ray release of UglyDolls looked very stunning as we watched along on my living room television.  The colors are very bright, and are extremely crisp, allowing for a pure distinction between the characters and the relative scenery.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Packaged with a lossless English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix, the Blu-ray release of UglyDolls is an extremely clear and immersive experience for children.  With a wide range of audio effects, and the seamless transitions from channel to channel, kids are able to sit down and really feel as if they were a part of this movie.  The dialogue is spoken cleanly, and the characters are able to be heard and understood without any issues whatsoever.  And the musical numbers were really well executed as they do what they can to include the children into the storyline and events that are unfolding.

The Packaging (2.5/5):

The Blu-ray release of UglyDolls comes packaged in the standard two-disc Blu-ray amaray case.  In that case, the Blu-ray copy and the DVD copy of the movie.  Neither disc features any artwork that’s related to the movie outside of the standard release text.  There is a digital copy redemption pamphlet, as well as a slipcover that’s been made available in the original pressing that features the same artwork as the case.

Special Features (2/5):

The Blu-ray release of UglyDolls contains a decent number of smaller featurettes, with most of them geared toward the interactions that allow children to play along.  There isn’t very much focus on any of the production work that went into the movie, nor are there really any that feature any kind of extension of the story.  The direction that was chosen with this is understandable, but personally speaking, I feel that they should’ve included a little bit more with the production work so that the adults that followed along with their children can explore that content further too.  Included with this release is:

  • Sing-Along Edition
  • Making UglyDolls
    • BTS Countdown
    • Couldn’t Be Better
    • Broken and Beautiful
    • The Ugly Truth
    • Pitbull
  • Fun with the Cast of UglyDolls
    • Would You Rather
    • Cast Talents
    • Kelly’s Gifts
    • Kelly’s Reaction
    • Ready, Set, Draw
  • Sing-Along Tease
  • Theatrical Trailers

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

Subtitles

English SDH, Spanish

Runtime

Original Film: 88 Minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, UglyDolls was pretty fun, despite the fact that it was a box office bomb; and the fact that the message at-hand is one that should be relayed through parenting.  The story as a whole is pretty wholesome, and was one that my son had fun with as we watched along.  The visual and audio presentation of the Blu-ray release were exceptionally handled and offered a really clean and clear cut look into the story that was being set out to be told.  The special features, while there’s a good number of them, are extremely barebones and really could have included more in-depth material, or even more features to get the younger audience members to play along.  If you’re looking to add UglyDolls to your collection, I’d recommend grabbing it when it’s on sale; especially if you too have children.  UglyDolls is available on Blu-ray and DVD today.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.